Swedish mathematician receives the Abel Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the 2006 Abel Prize to Lennart Carleson, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. This was announced by the president of the Norwegian Academy, Ole Didrik Lærum, in Oslo 23 March.

Ole Didrik Lærum, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announces that Lennart Carleson from Sweden is the winner of the 2006 Abel Prize. Photo: Bjørn Sigurdsøn/Scanpix

Ole Didrik Lærum, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announces that Lennart Carleson from Sweden is the winner of the 2006 Abel Prize. Photo: Bjørn Sigurdsøn/Scanpix

Carleson receives the Abel Prize "for his profound and seminal contributions to harmonic analysis and the theory of smooth dynamical systems", says Erling Størmer, the chairman of the international Abel Committee.

Erling Størmer describes Carlson as an innovative problem solver. The Abel Committee says: "Carleson is always far ahead of the crowd. He concentrates on only the most difficult and deep problems. Once these are solved, he lets others invade the kingdom he has discovered, and he moves on to even wilder and more remote domains of Science."

Carleson has solved many very difficult open problems. In the Committee's opinion, the most impressive of these concerns Fourier series. His name is also associated with the solution of the famous corona problem. Carleson has made many essential contributions to several fields within mathematics. Carleson's work has also been influential in the sense that other mathematicians have been able to build on the foundation he has created.

The Abel Committee says in its citation: "Carleson's work has forever altered our view of analysis. Not only did he prove extremely hard theorems, but the methods he introduced to prove them have turned out to be as important as the theorems themselves. His unique style is characterized by geometric insight combined with amazing control of the branching complexities of the proofs."

Marcus du Sautoy uses musical instruments to explain Lennart Carleson

Marcus du Sautoy uses musical instruments to explain Lennart Carleson's mathematics. Ole Didrik Lærum, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and Erling Størmer, chairman of the Abel Committee, are listening. Photo: Bjørn Sigurdsøn/Scanpix

The impact of the ideas and actions of Lennart Carleson is not restricted to his mathematical work. Carleson has played an important role in popularising mathematics in Sweden, and he has always been especially interested in school mathematics.

Lennart Carleson has also held many important posts. In the years 1968-1984, he was director of Institut Mittag-Leffler outside Stockholm, building it up from a rather dormant existence into one of the most popular and active mathematical research institutes in the world.

In the years 1978-1982, he was president of the International Mathematical Union and was, among other things, one of the key persons involved in the establishment of the Nevalinna Prize, which goes to young researchers in the field of theoretical computer science. - Lennart Carleson is an exceptional scientist with a broad vision of mathematics and the subject's role in the world, says Erling Størmer.

Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi
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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Drammensveien 78
N-0271 Oslo, Norway
Telephone: + 47 22 84 15 00
Fax: + 47 22 12 10 99
E-mail: abelprisen@dnva.no
Web editor: Anne-Marie Astad
Design and technical solutions: Ravn Webveveriet AS